How to find a restaurant that’s GF & coeliac safe

Time for a birthday celebration.

Time to find a new restaurant locally that does gluten free & is coeliac safe.

Ahhhh such fun!

It’s approaching my eldest daughter’s 16th birthday. She adapted well to her sister’s diet over the past four years. Keeping any non gluten free items at arms length, eating in the garden in the early days with things that make lots of crumbs!

She dealt with us walking in and out of restaurants so we can eat together. She has felt left out & overlooked. That wasn’t the intention. It’s easy to feed a muggle; someone who can eat normal gluten foods. Food is available everywhere.

Or that sometimes it seems that I go out far more prepared for the gluten free child, than her with snacks, as you can buy anything non gluten free from anywhere without worrying whether if it is gluten free or contaminated.

Gluten Free Birthday Celebrations

Time to try a New Restaurant

I’m locating a carvery for her birthday lunch. A challenge to find one that’ll be able to cater for us all & be coeliac safe. But, when it’s your 16th birthday, you should get what you want. And she wants a carvery & lots of Yorkshire puddings. When I say lots, I mean lots!

I have booked a table at our regular safe restaurant, but it’s a drive to get there, and she doesn’t want to sit in the car for ages.

So we’re trying a new local restaurant to us.

After my initial chat, I’m not too sure. I’ll be dropping by to see and chat in person before the big day. The conversation went something along the lines of this:

Me: “Hi, I need a table for 6. Do you do gluten free food. I have a daughter that has coeliac disease”

Restaurant: “Yes, we do gluten free. How bad is her allergy, or is it more of an intolerance?”

Me: “Excuse me?, it’s not either, it’s an auto immune disease”

Restaurant: “Oh. We can tell you what is safe on the carvery, she can’t have the Yorkshire Puddings. Or we can prepare her food in the kitchen if she’s really allergic”.

Me: “It’s not an allergy. She doesn’t like a carvery, she likes chips. Do you cook chips on a Sunday?”

Restaurant: “Yes”.

Me: “Are they gluten free?”

Restaurant: “Yes they are”

Me: “Do you have a separate fryer for the chips, or are they cooked with other items that contain gluten?”

Restaurant: “Yes. They’re cooked with other items”

Me: “Then they aren’t gluten free. Can you cook her oven chips?”

Restaurant: “Yes, would you like to make a booking. I’ll make a note of your requirements”.

So do we risk it?

Infuriating isn’t it. There is gluten free and there is gluten free that is coeliac safe. That takes extra care, precautions and thought.

To summarise, Coeliac Disease isn’t an allergy. It’s not a food fad or an intolerance. It’s an auto immune disease. It means that your body’s immediate reaction is to go into fight mode. That it attacks her body from inside.

One tiny crumb could gluten my daughter. That means she’ll have eaten gluten. And the longer that she’s off gluten, the more severe her reaction could be. She hasn’t been glutened in ages. I certainly don’t want that to occur, to make her ill in any way, so I have to ask these kind of questions & have these conversations on a regular basis, especially when we try new restaurants.

Before, she would have a sore tummy & then sleep. For a long time.

Coeliac Awareness Week 9-13th May

This week is Coeliac Awareness Week. A week to raise awareness on the wonder & challenges of a coeliac diet. A coeliac sufferer isn’t being difficult. They just don’t want to be ill from something so simple as one tiny crumb.

Gluten is in many things, not just wheat. Which is why it is hard for someone with coeliac disease to eat out. It’s in Barley, Rye, Oats & Wheat. It could be in anything. Drinks, food, sweets, crisps. Everything has to be checked & evaluated. Including the item it gets served with. If the tongs serving the gluten free chips were used to serve gluten items, that’s cross contamination.

Eating out is a risk. But we have to try so she learns its possible. I’m going to drop into the venue & have a chat so that I’m more comfortable that they do understand. If after that conversation they don’t show a level of understanding, well, it’s fair to say, I’ll be looking to find another venue this weekend!!

#shinealightoncoeliac #glutenfree #freefrom #glutenfreelittlecook